Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA post-apocalyptic
Pages: Paperback, 337
Opening Lines: "Lisa is pregnant. Dad called around 11 o'clock to let us know."
"Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove."
Thoughts: I heard about this book when I was taking an young adult fiction course. I cannot remember what we discussed, but it looked like an interesting book. Honestly, I had completely forgot about it until a friend sent it to me for Christmas. Even though I have 30+ books on my TBR pile, this one got pushed to the top!
The book is written in a series of journal entries; therefore, it is told from the POV of the main character, Miranda. At the start of the book, everyone is getting ready for finals, the end of school summer vacation, etc. However, during this time, everyone is talking about a meteor that is head for the moon. According to the astronomers at NASA, it is just supposed to connect with the moon and make another crater. While standing on the street with her family, Miranda watches as the meteor not only collides with the moon but knocks it closer in its orbit to the earth.
Everything starts out rather slowly. Aside from Miranda's mother's shopping spree shortly after the impact, Miranda's story seems similar to a normal teen with extra restrictions on her life. However, after the volcanoes start going off, the book quickly progresses in a downward spiral mirroring the weather. First the sky is grey due to the increase of ash in the air, then a sudden freeze hits them in August, etc. It follows their struggle to survive with dwindling food supplies, water, warmth, and so on. They are also surrounded by death on every front.
The book was extremely well written. I felt having the story told from Miranda's journal was an awesome idea. It really helped the reader take part in the girl's struggles and suffering. Even though it was only from her perspective, I felt all of the characters were well written and developed. The narration also showed how much Miranda matured and grew as a character. It does a good job showing the unbelievable sense of courage and strength a teenager can exhibit. Further, I think the author did a good explaining what would happen when a meteor knocked the moon out of its orbit. She also did a good job trying to figure out what surviving would be like. To me, it showed that the author put a lot of work and time into researching.
I tore through this book in a matter of days. Even though the writing is somewhat simplistic because of the age of the narrator, it does not lack in substance or plot. The author does not shy away from issues that come up with the disaster. She shows the cult like mentality that can follow a disaster, people unwilling to trust each other, looting, and anything else imaginable. Adding the armed guards at the hospital was a nice touch. I never would have thought of it, but it fit perfectly. The small amount of mail coming in reminded me of the Post Man. And, honestly, I don't think I will complain about gas prices when they were paying $12/gal!
All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was well researched, thought out, and paced. It also helped that a blizzard started up outside my window as soon as a blizzard hit the family! I was thankful for a warm blanket and husky!
Currently: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
Current Pages: 1613